Kia reveals details of all-electric Soul headed for international markets
By Darren Quick
November 11, 2013
Details were thin on the ground when Kia revealed plans for a Soul EV last month. The Korean carmaker has now shed a little more light on the first all-electric Kia that will be sold outside its home country.
With styling inspired by the 2012 Kia Track'ster concept, the Kia Soul EV retains the square-shouldered broad stance seen on its non-electric Soul-mate and builds on the experience gained from Kia's first electric vehicle, the Ray EV, which is only available in Korea.
The Soul EV's final powertrain hasn't been announced, but the front-wheel drive prototype Soul EV test cars, which are based on the 2014 Soul, replace that car's ICE with a 109-hp electric motor outputting 210 lb-ft of torque that is married to a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. The prototypes go from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in under 12 seconds, on the way to a top speed of around 90 mph (145 km/h).
The vehicle is powered by a battery pack that Kia says can be fully recharged using a standard 240 V outlet in five hours, or in just 25 minutes on "fast" charge with 100 kW output. The company is aiming to give the car a range of over 120 miles (193 km), which will be helped by a regenerative braking system.
Although engine noise is not a concern in the battery-powered Soul EV, Kia says the vehicle will be built using special sound-proofing materials to further ensure a quiet ride. Since stealth isn't such a plus when it comes to pedestrians, the car will come with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert when traveling in reverse or at speeds of under 12 mph (19 km/h).
When released, the Soul EV will be offered with projection type headlights, LED positioning lamps, LED rear combination lamps, and aerodynamically shaped 16-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the car's interior will boast a "Supervision" instrument cluster and center stack with an 8-inch display and eco-friendly materials.
Pricing details are yet to be announced, but Kia plans to release the Soul EV globally next year.